So much for Judgment Day. The Terminator has been assigned a new target: May 22, 2009.
That’s the date Warner Bros. has scheduled to unspool its heavily anticipated Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, per the trades.
The sequel, which will also serve as the first installment of another planned trilogy in the fabled man vs. machine sci-fi tale, picks up shortly after the first Terminator trilogy left off. Christian Bale plays the adult John Connor, leading a rebellion against the sentient computer network known as Skynet that seeks to wipe out all of humanity.The studio will distribute Terminator Salvation in North America after securing a pact with Halcyon Co., which owns the franchise rights. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group will control international distribution.
Warner Bros.’ summer tent pole will bow the same day Twentieth Century Fox plans to roll out Night at the Museum II: Escape from the Smithsonian, the follow-up to its 2006 comedy hit Night at the Museum, in which Ben Stiller will reprise his part as the hapless security guard of a museum whose exhibits come to life after dark.
The original fantasy grossed $250 million in domestic ticket sales and the second Night is sure to give Bale and company a run for their money at the box office.
Despite its overwhelming popularity with the ComiCon crowd, the billion-dollar Terminator series has seen its blockbuster status slip in recent years. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the indestructible robot role that made him famous, grossed $150 million domestically when it opened in 2003, but cost an estimated $200 million to make. However, the film more than made up for it internationally, raking in $283 million in foreign ticket sales to bring its global haul to $433 million.
By contrast, 1984’s The Terminator cost $6 million and tallied $38 million in the U.S., and eventually finished with $78 million worldwide. The biggest of them all was 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which generated a whopping $204 million in U.S. ticket sales before going on to earn $516 million internationally.
The first two films were written and directed by James Cameron and the third by Jonathan Mostow.
Taking the reigns on the fourth chapter will be McG, a Hollywood director who started out in music videos but found big-screen success helming the feature film version of Charlie’s Angels and its subsequent sequel.
But whether or not the director, whose real name is Joseph McGinty Nichol, has the chops to deliver the high-octane action goods of his predecessors remains to be seen.
The filmmakers have been tight-lipped about T4’s plot, but one thing’s for sure: it will not feature Schwarzenegger, who’s busy finishing out his term as California’s governor.
The story, penned by T3 writers John Brancato and Michael Ferris, is said to be set in the postapocalyptic nightmare briefly alluded to in the first three movies after Skynet fomented a nuclear holocaust hoping to destroy its human makers.
Aside from Bale—who’s pulling double hero duty as the Caped Crusader in this summer’s Batman sequel, Dark Knight—actor Sam Worthington is also in talks to come aboard. As it happens, Worthington is in the midst of wrapping a key role in Cameron’s sci-fi action-adventure epic Avatar, the self-anointed king of the world’s first Hollywood film since 1997’s Oscar-winning Titanic.
Shooting on Terminator Salvation is scheduled to kick off in New Mexico on May 5 and continue there for two months before moving on to other locales.
Source: E! News